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Get It Home - Recovery Parts Buyer’s Guide

Posted in Product Reviews on July 22, 2013 Comment (0)
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Do you trust your recovery equipment well enough to think of doing something like this? That’s right, that’s a real live Jeep dangling up there. Mac’s Custom Tie Downs did this as a demonstration for 2013 Easter Jeep Safari right around the time we were looking for a good lead photo for our recovery parts buyer’s guide. Sure, you aren’t going to be recovering the Jeep with tie downs, but trust us, there are straps involved in this display.

Now, we aren’t saying we’d dangle our Jeep in the air like this, but we have been around the block once or twice. And sometimes around the block is mud, sand, or rocks the size of Volkswagens. Yeah, we’ve been stuck, and we got out. Over the years we’ve accumulated a pretty good repertoire of what to use in what situation, what we like, and what we don’t like.

Let us be the first ones to tell you that when you are stuck, you like anything that can get you out. That said, here are some of the things we’ve used over the years—what they’re good for, and what they’re less good for.

Electric Boogaloo
What: Electric winch
Who: Warn Industries, 800/543-9276, warn.com
Model: VR8000-s
Part number: 87835
Price: $729.99
Specs: Series-wound motor for plenty of power and speed helps provide an 8,000-pound rating. The Spydura synthetic rope and aluminum fairlead shaves weight over steel cable. The separate control pack can be mounted under the hood for various mounting options.
Good for: Self-recovery when a good anchor point is available. Good for long pulls and pulling others up that last little bit. Good to keep the front of the Jeep on the ground for steep climbs.
Less good for: Multiple short hang-ups on rocks. It can get tedious pulling cable all the time. If we have someone with us who is a rock magnet, we usually have them use a strap.

Cheap and Permanent
What: Weld-on D-ring
Who: GenRight Off Road, 805/584-8635, genright.com
Part number: BKT-5004
Price: $12.95
Specs: If you are the guy who can never find his socks; this is probably the way to go for a D-ring. Weld the thing onto your Jeep and you never have to go looking for it. It is 5⁄8-inch-thick steel and rated to 18,000 pounds. It’s simple, it’s cheap—what more could you want?
Good for: The guy who can’t remember where he put his car keys or the guy with a hook on his winch.
Less good for: A Jeeper who can’t weld. Or the guy who is really anal retentive about either rattles or shiny paint.

Link’D
What: ProLink
Who: Factor 55, 208/639-1674, factor55.com
Part number: ProLink (shown in blue)
Price: $129.95
Specs: Solid CNC-machined aluminum with a titanium pin. Accepts shackles and tested past 16,000 pounds. Once attached, won’t fall off like a hook might. Up to five time stronger than a hook, and unlike a hook, it sits tight against fairlead.
Good for: Pulls where loading and unloading of the cable occurs, since that’s when hooks tend to fall off. Anywhere a Jeep has a shackle mount.
Less good for: Pulls when you need a fast hookup that only a hook can give, or for the Jeep that doesn’t have provisions for shackle attachment points.

Get Braided
What: Double-braid recovery rope
Who: Off-Road Solutions, 901/231-5071, ors4x4.com
Part number: 1-inch recovery rope
Price: $99.00
Specs: Rope is rated at 33,900 pounds (1-inch diameter) and also available in 7⁄8- and 3⁄4-inch diameters. The kinetic rope can help get you unstuck by being “springier” than a strap. They are available both in coated and uncoated and in a variety of colors. Shown is a coated rope that will help it shed mud and water for you mud-boggers out there. Unlike many straps with sewn-on eye protectors, there is nothing but braid in the eye of this rope, but it might not pack up as tightly as a flat strap. Depending on the size of rope and your receiver, you might not be able to play the hitch-pin game with this rope, the eyes are way beefy.
Good for: The guy who has mangled flat straps in the past, or hates having to roll the flat strap up to be neat again.
Less good for: The guy who needs to have his flat strap in a perfect coil and bound with zip ties, rope, bungee cords, or Velcro—or the guy who likes to use the hitch pin in the receiver to attach his strap to his Jeep.

Get on D
What: HitchLink and removable D-ring shackle
Who: Factor 55, 208/639-1674, factor55.com
Part number: HitchLink
Price: $79.95 (HitchLink) $24.95 (shackle)
Specs: Rated for 9,500 pounds tested in excess of 51,000 pounds this Aluminum hitch mount for a shackle can give any Jeep with a hitch a shackle recovery point with no welding. Aluminum is 1.9 pounds versus 8 for steel. Available anodized or powdercoated. The shackle is similarly tested and powdercoated for a tight fit on the HitchLink.
Good for: The guy who hasn’t gone full gonzo and doesn’t have shackle mounts every foot on the Jeep, or anyone who wants to be helpful if they run across that guy. Also is good for attaching both ends of the strap to at once.
Less good for: The guy with a really low-rated or improperly installed 2-inch trailer hitch who is stuck in the mud or the guy who lives where stuff like this gets stolen.

The Old Work Horse
What: Towhook
Who: GenRight Off Road, 805/584-8635, genright.com
Part number: BKT-5006
Price: $14.99
Specs: The ubiquitous towhook has gotten many a Jeeper out of a rough patch. We installed this one without the spring steel retainer. That makes it easier to get something on the hook, but with loading and unloading it also means that it is possible the rope, hook, or shackle can fall off. This one has a 12,000 pound rating in spite of its bling appearance.
Good for: Quick attachments and can accept virtually any shackle or hook.
Less good for: Might not have enough depth to safely accept both ends of some straps. Not good where multiple pulls are needed, as the strap or winch might fall off (use spring retainer).

Bag of Goodies
What: Winch accessory kit
Who: ComeUp, 503/783-6142, comeupusa.com
Part number: 881662
Price: $179.95
Specs: The ComeUp winch accessory bag is a great price for all the stuff you get. Included are a pair of D-ring shackles that are useful for attaching straps and a pair of gloves that are a must for winching. The snatch block or pulley can be used to change the direction of the pull and multiply the actual pulling power. There is a 3-inch-wide by 30 foot long strap that is rated to 21,600 pounds and a 4-inch-wide by 8-foot-long tree protector strap. The large red thing is a recovery dampener, to be hung over the winch cable so that if it breaks the cable doesn’t come back at you, and the black thing is the convenient carry bag.
Good for: The guy who doesn’t have time to monkey around bargain shopping and wants all his winch accessories in one place.
Less good for: The guy who doesn’t even go wheeling with a spare tire (in other words, the under-prepared dude).

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